Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

One Township's Yesterdays Chapter XXVIII  


JACOB E. MYERS settled in 1860 or there abouts. He was born in Germany March 14, 1846. When he was eight years of age, his parents left the fatherland with him for America, but the father died before reaching New York. Thus suddenly bereft and with sma11 resources at their command, the widow and her young son bravely faced the situation, and were enabled after a time to reach Marion, Ohio, and locate near that place. In 1860, they transferred the scene of their struggles to Marshall County, where they were found at the outbreak of the Civil War.

JACOB E. MYERS enlisted in 1864 in the 48th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Company D, and saw active service in some of the most strenuous, campaigns of the war, taking part in Sherman's march from Atlanta to the sea, and northward through the Carolinas to join the massed forces of Grant pressing down front Virginia. After the war, he returned to Union Township and devoted himself to the carpenter's trade until his marriage in the fall of 1866, when he took up farming. In 1876 he purchased his 146-acre farm, originally wooded land, and for the succeeding seven years, while clearing it of its heavy timber, also operated a saw mill. As late as the beginning of the Twentieth Century, no less active than he was thirty or forty years previous, he could be found at work on his farmlands clearing the last of his fields that remained to be cleared. It was while engaged in such tasks that a rather peculiar thing happened.

It was in the summer of 1905. Mr. MYERS met with quite a serious accident, from which he recovered, however, in a surprisingly short time. He was then living south of Rutland. It was the evening of August 22nd that the accident occurred. During the summer he had been clearing a. field of stumps by the use of dynamite cartridges. He placed one under a stump, then drilled a hole in the stump, where he placed the second one. When firing them, evidently only the cartridge under the stump exploded, while the one imbedded in the stump remained intact. He was engaged in burning the stumps when this unexploded cartridge went off and part of the charge struck him in the face, which was considerably burned. But there were no other serious injuries. This peace-time bombardment was a reminder of the days of '65.

In a comparatively recent account of Mr. MYERS' life, it was said that he came to this country when six years old and settled in Ohio with his mother. His father had died at sea. At the age of fourteen, Mr. MYERS came to Marshall County and as an orphan worked for fifty cents a day or the equivalent in grain, as few farmers in those days had any ready cash. He helped clear the timber from what was later the BUSART farm.
He was married October 28, 1866, to SARAH A. KALEY, daughter of a pioneer, Reuben Kaley, and started farming on the farm owned in later years by G. H. FIFIELD, which Mr. MYERS purchased for five dollars an acre. Later he and his wife moved to the farm where he lived till his death and where, in 1934, his widow is still residing. At the time of Mr. MYERS' death it was believed that he and his wife were the oldest married couple in the county. When they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1916, over one hundred friends joined in observing the happy occasion.

Widely known as a cattle fancier and farmer, Mr. MYERS was one of the most prominent breeders of pure bred polled shorthorn cattle in the State and worked with the goal constantly before him of some day winning a national prize. This he accomplished in 1927 when he attracted national attention by taking first prize with his yearling, "Johnny Logan," at the International Livestock Show in Chicago.

At his farm home northeast of Lake Maxinkuckee, JACOB E. MYERS passed away, August 21, 1931, at the age of eighty-five. In the afternoon he was found unconscious by the side of the yard swing. He died about fifteen minutes later. Apoplexy was the direct cause of death, but i11 health had been his lot for several years.

"The theme of that song of fifty years ago of the grandfather's clock that stopped when its owner died is no more striking nor unusual than that of the American flag flying at half mast in Mr. MYERS' yard on the day that he passed away," commented the Culver Citizen. "He was an intensely patriotic Civil War veteran and it was his daily joy to hoist the Stars and Stripes to the top of his high flag pole and to salute the Colors with his typical snap and vigor. On Friday he raised the flag only to half mast, the mourning position for soldiers who answered their last roll call, and that afternoon he died."

Surviving him were the widow and four children, Five other children had gone on before him. Those who remained were
    WILLIAM H. MYERS of Plymouth
    Mrs. CLARA SWANSON of South Bend
    Mrs. PEARL CUSTER of Mishawaka
    Mrs. MARY MIKESELL of Culver

also a brother, GOTTLIEB MYERS, of Michigan; twelve grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. He was laid to rest in Poplar Grove Cemetery.